Jim Gochis of Synergy Dental Partners and Richard Harrell sat down to discuss Premiere 1 Dental role in the Dental Lab market space. Richard discusses the differences between domestic vs Global production.
Episode 6 – Domestic vs Global
Can we talk a little bit about the the misconceptions of domestic versus global production? What I’ve learned is that in dentistry, there’s a school of thought that I don’t necessarily agree with, that if something is produced offshore outside of the USA, that the the quality is inherently lesser.
Using offshore facilities in the industry is not new, it dates back over 20 years ago to the Philippines and now you see Costa Rica, India, China, Vietnam, and other countries becoming part of this globalization.
I spent a lot of time in China specifically looking to buy a laboratory. And one of the reasons was their education process. There is a educational process required to become a technician in China, but in the US most technicians only have on the job training (OJT). So I began looking at facilities with some of our investment partners, and with another Chinese gentleman who is a dentist here in the US who bought an understanding of the field and the language.
We went and we looked at laboratories that were actually rather surprising – as they were campuses. They had manufacturing facilities and dormitories in one self contained site, and they also had postgraduate education facilities meaning that as students left college they could work in the facility to continue their development.
The facilities were stunning, equipped with the latest equipment from the typical dental lab material companies. All the materials were all the usual and standard material candidates for manufacturing dental laboratory prosthetics. And in order to get a product from China into the US, the facility must by FDA certified and actually has to undergo the ISO certification which only a handful of labs have in the US.
The amount of certification and governmental oversight required of a lab in China is exponentially greater than what it is for something that is produced here in the United States. The biases that we have are generally just a matter of a lack of information.
When you look at Canada, Germany, or Great Britain, the terms of requirements that they have on the delivery of prosthetics are significantly higher than what we see in the US. And as this global manufacturing format continues to settle in for everything from cars to electronics to teeth, I think you are going to see a raising of the bar. So to automatically assume that the geography would dictate the quality of the materials or standards of care is a mistake.